EVELYN, William (?1734-1813), of St. Clere, nr. Sevenoaks, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. ?1734, 1st s. of William Glanville† (formerly Evelyn) of St. Clere by 2nd w. Bridget, da. and h. of Hugh Raymond of Langley. educ. Westminster 1744-51, aged 10. m. 2 Aug. 1760, Susanna, da. and coh. of Thomas Barrett of Shoreham, nr. Sevenoaks, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1766.
Lt. Kent yeoman cav. 1794.
Evelyn maintained his interest at Hythe in 1790 and 1796 without opposition, although in August 1789 the Duke of Portland had been concerned about the strength of his position there.1 An opponent of Pitt’s administration since 1784, he joined the Whig Club on 9 Feb. 1790. There were doubts, however, about his attitude to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791. He was initially listed among opposition pairs and absentees for the division on Oczakov, 12 Apr. 1791, but was later included in ‘a correct list’ of the minority.2 He did not vote with opposition on this issue, 1 Mar. 1792, and seems to have been considered as a possible recruit for the ‘third party’ in February 1793, when he seceded from the Whig Club.3 He apparently supported government thereafter, being listed ‘pro’ in the ministerial election forecast for 1796. In December 1795 he sent Pitt information about sedition in the Shoreham area.4
Evelyn’s sister, Mrs Chase Price, wrote to Mrs Gascoyne, 12 Oct. 1794:
I think my brother the strongest man of his age I know. Yesterday he hunted from 6 o’clock till after 12. He then had his breakfast, dressed himself, put on his uniform ... went to Ld. Camden’s, and exercised the men till near six, rode home, and dined at 7, and was not the least fatigued. He was on horseback near 12 hours.5
For all this, he was probably a poor attender of the House, where he is not known to have spoken in this period. He was absent from calls of the House, 24 Nov. 1795, 3 Apr. 1797 and 17 Mar. 1801, and on 29 Apr. 1797 was granted two months’ leave for the recovery of his health.6 He retired from Hythe in 1802 and tried unsuccessfully to secure the election of Alexander Evelyn, the husband of his only surviving child and heiress, Frances. He died 3 Nov. 1813, aged 79.